In his first State of the Nation Address, Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte announced measures aimed at making the country a business-friendly environment.
Duterte says his administration will continue and maintain current macroeconomic policies, and will achieve this through prudent fiscal and monetary policies that can help translate high growth into more and better job creation and poverty reduction.
“By the end of my term, I hope – I hope and pray – to hand over an economy that is much stronger, characterized by solid growth, low and stable inflation, dollar reserves, and robust fiscal position,” said Duterte.
The President says his administration will pursue tax reforms towards a simpler, and more equitable, and more efficient tax system that can foster investment and job creation. “We will lower personal and corporate income tax rates and relax the bank secrecy laws,” he noted.
Reforms to ensure competitiveness and promote ease of doing business will be mandatory, said the President.
“We shall enhance local business environment by addressing bottlenecks in business registration and processing, streamlining investment application process and integration the services of various government offices,” said Duterte.
“Processing time in issuing permits and licenses shall be reduced to the barest minimum, three days for local governments,” he said.
Duterte also said that Government Financing Institutions (GFIs) shall come up with out-of-the box financing packages to capacitate the country’s small and medium entrepreneurs.
The President has also directed the newly-created DICT, Information and Communication Technology, to develop a National Broadband Plan to accelerate the deployment of fiber optics cables and wireless technologies to improve internet speed.